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Take care now to avoid frozen pipes given the plummeting temps in the forecast

File photo. My Ferndale News

FERNDALE, Wash. — Temperatures around the Whatcom County area are forecast drop to subfreezing temperatures later this week.

With the cold comes the potential for frozen pipes and the resulting damage they can cause.

The American Red Cross provides the following tips for preventing frozen pipes:

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

PEMCO Insurance adds one more bit of advice, disconnect outside hoses and cover outdoor faucets with a foam bib or cloth to prevent pipes from freezing and cracking. PEMCO officials say their polls show about 30% fail to do this.

If it is too late and frozen pipes have already been discovered, experts say to call a plumber immediately. Once temperatures warm up and pipes thaw, the breaks in the pipes caused by the expanding frozen water can then leak and cause water damage.

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